Conversation is the shiz, so I just don’t get making commenting hard to do.
I’d love to comment on Shonali Burke’s BNET column or so many other stories and articles, but once I get that “registration required” I stop. Too many IDs, logins to manage already.
- Build community. Keep like-minded thinkers together. I am registered with Social Media Today, though now they don’t require that to post comments.
- Harvest email addresses. But you have to give people the chance to opt OUT of your spam.
- Target your audience for better marketing. Yet people can leave vital info blank, fake it, refuse to let you share that info with others.
- Block spam, anonymous douchebags. There are tools and plugins that can help with that. I heart the irony of a few sites I’ve lurked, registration required… but all the members’ “buy this crap” spam comment links get approved.
- Block Trolls, sock puppets. Hate spewing random mind dumps from those who really are not interested in engaging is part of moderating (another post).
The real reason I don’t register for every magazine or newspaper site: I shouldn’t have to.
Many newspapers and magazine websites are set up blog-style these days, so there are plenty of commenting systems available.
- Disqus and Livefyre allow you to create your own ID, or use social profiles from Twitter and Facebook.
- Plugins like Twitter Connect and Facebook Connect are options, but for me Facebook is personal. I’d only us it for personal not professional comments so having Facebook as the only option for a business publication is fail IMO.
- American Express OPEN lets people post on their site with their LinkedIn profiles, makes sense for a business website marketing to business professionals.
- Email address. This is by far the weakest, requires more work on the part of the moderators.
Magazines and newspapers should have the IT stall to install some plugins to block spam, keyword names, trolls. If they don’t want the debate, then don’t open the article to comments. If they do want engagement from their audience, the I got two words: Comment policy. Have one, enforce one. Block anonymous comments.
This “Registration, why?” debate is nothing new. I think you do more harm than good forcing people to join your magazine or website’s “community” just to post a non-anonymous comment. Am a I lurking troll who reads but won’t register for every magazine or e-zine?
Do you register just to comment?
Photo credit: That Penny Arcade shirt is too funny.